Ana Alliegro: ‘David Rivera has shown that he uses women’

MIAMI — “I’m hurt too deeply and I feel bad, not for me but for my daughter and my mother. And all because of David Rivera’s cheating,” said Ana Sol Alliegro by phone to Diario Las Américas.

She is serving six months of house arrest after being sentenced for her connection to the illegal funding of the campaign of Justin Lamar Sternad, the former ghost candidate to Congress for District 26.

According to the results of an investigation, during the primary elections of 2012 Sternad sought the Democratic nomination with the intention of weakening the campaign of then-hopeful Joe García.

“David Rivera will also fall,” says Alliegro sweetly, in a reflective tone. “His time is near; I hope that the law will do with him what it did with me.” She says that she “lived my best days while in Granada, Nicaragua,” where she went “to flee from the press, not from justice.”

She recalls that it was in Granada where she learned that, beyond breathing politics through every pore, she could be someone more simple, without so many complexities: a hair stylist.

Alliegro is deeply disappointed. Hers is an explosive mixture of feelings and politics, a sensation of total abandonment at a time when she faced the worst situation in her life.

“Obviously, I allowed a man to defraud me — and yes, I was in love with David. He claimed he felt the same about me. But he knows what he’s doing, he’s calculating, manipulative, treacherous. He answered no calls from me, didn’t come out in my defense, neither him nor any other member of the Republican Party.”

Disappointment, then, touched every aspect of her life, mainly her political life. Now, she doesn’t want to hear about it and recites from memory a statement by Martin Luther King Jr.: “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”

Psychological abuse

Every day in detention, Ana Sol Alliegro hoped for David Rivera to come to her aid. That was her hope.

“I thought that, at any given moment, he would have some plan, something to do for me,” but that wasn’t so. “He deceived me, I was disillusioned and hurt,” she said, adding that Rivera uses and manipulates women, “as has been demonstrated.”

“While I was going through the worst days of my life, this man was vacationing with that lady [Dana W. Hudson] and others, I understand. Now, he is hiding at the home of a former judge [Ana María Pando], simply because he feels safe there. She is a good person who David Rivera will end up destroying.”

After a year of living in very harsh confinement, as her family has denounced, Allegro understands that Rivera practices “a way of manipulating that any woman enjoys and, to a certain degree, believes.”

Alliegro and Hudson, the Washington strategist who was also a friend of Rivera’s, are strong women but, as Alliegro acknowledged, “we women have a weak spot.”

Rivera “shows himself to be pleasant, charismatic, simple. He pretends to be everything he’s not. If you have a friend who demonstrates all those qualities and suddenly you realize that everything he has shown you is a lie, that he never helped you solve a problem that he himself caused, don’t you think that’s called emotional abuse?”

“It is obvious that Rivera has a problem of abuse against women. Definitely, it’s an emotional abuse that leaves scars that don’t heal so easily. Because it’s difficult to believe in anyone else afterward,” she says.

She conceded that, while in prison, she spoke with Rivera “but he never indicated that he was spending his time on vacation. He told me that he was struggling hard to be elected. I supported him in everything. My silence, my reluctance to cooperate, the path I took, everything I did was to make sure that that person — who I thought would be a great Congressman — would win the election.”

Even-handed justice

Ana Sol Alliegro believes that Rivera deserves to face the court but added that “the man who should be in the crosshairs of the media is Democratic Congressman Joe García, who’s running for re-election.”

“I hope that justice will be even-handed, not selective. García is as much a criminal as the other people who are under investigation,” she says. “I would love to see the press pounce on him and ask him what he’s hiding, why hasn’t he answered, why he tells lies, who protects him, what levers he is pulling.”

In six more months, after serving her sentence (with two years of probation), Alliegro sees herself creating a nonprofit institution to help former prison inmates. She wants to use politics as a public service to help the weak.

“The best policy is to be a public servant,” she says, summarizing her own experience. “The game of politics has become very dirty.”

(From: Diario Las Américas)